Don’t axe trees dur­ing road widen­ing: Pan­vel res­i­dents

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The con­creti­sa­tion work of Pan­vel Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil (PMC) to Thane Naka road has be­gun. It is the only road with a thick tree growth in the city.

The work has be­gun with­out any de­ci­sion be­ing taken on the 178 trees along the road and which might be a hur­dle in the project.

NGOs Cit­i­zens Unity Fo­rum (CUF) and Nis­arg Mitr have met PMC chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mangesh Chi­tale, ap­peal­ing to him not to kill the trees for the project.

The two-km Thane Naka– PMC road is dot­ted with trees on both sides of the road. This pro­vides cool shel­ter for pedes­tri­ans and mo­torists who use it, es­pe­cially in the sum­mer heat. There are var­i­ous species of new and old trees here. They also at­tract a num­ber of birds to the area.

CUF pres­i­dent Arun Bhise said: “The road is be­ing con­cre­tised and widened. The PMC has, how­ever, not an­nounced what it in­tends to do with the trees. This has led to spec­u­la­tion that the trees could be felled.”

He added, “We met the CEO ear­lier this week and stated that we are strongly op­posed to the de­struc­tion of the trees. We have also given a let­ter in this re­gard to him.”

Bhise said the CEO had told them that a de­ci­sion on the is­sue would be taken at a meet­ing of the Tree Au­thor­ity and that the trees would be re­planted.

Suresh Ris­bud, a tree au­thor­ity mem­ber who was present for the meet­ing com­plained that the tree au­thor­ity meet­ing is not held reg­u­larly. Chi­tale as­sured that the meet­ing will be held soon.

A mem­ber of Nis­arg Mitr said: “We have de­cided to save the trees. We are op­posed to the re­plant­ing pro­posal.”

“The PMC has to­tally failed over the years to re­plant the trees. The as­sur­ances are only on pa­per. The de­struc­tion of trees will have its ef­fect on the en­vi­ron­ment, birds and in­sects that are de­pen­dent on it.”

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